Simona Quadarella Wants To Savour More Success With Plan To Be Stronger Still At Tokyo Olympics In 2021

Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

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Simona Quadarella got a taste of what it was like to stand aloft the global podium after being crowned world 1,500m freestyle champion in Gwangju last July. It left her wanting more.

The Italian also earned silver in a duel with Olympic champion Katie Ledecky in the 800 free as the American fought tooth and nail to retain her title despite illness through the week in South Korea.

That came a year after Quadarella won 400-800-1500 gold at the 2018 European Championships in Glasgow.

It all hinted at a fine 2020 to come for the Roman and a place at the top table come Tokyo 2020, four years after she had narrowly missed out on making the cut for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

She had savoured every moment atop the rostrum and wanted more.

Quadarella said in an interview with Stefano Arcobelli at Gazzetta dello Sport:

“The more I win the more I want to win.”


Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

She added:

“I am not different in character. But I have matured, I have more awareness after last year. It had not been like this after the three European gold medals of 2018, I had not won a world title: that makes you change your mind.

“Now I have more confidence in the water, I know the strengths and weaknesses, mine and my opponents. Before I was more irrational, naive, I didn’t think and act. Now awareness helps me.”

And of the postponement of the Olympics to July 2021, the 21-year-old has her eyes focused on the prize – accept, park and move on to her Games debut.

She said:

“We are not wasting time, it is a traumatic moment for everyone, but we try to keep the target.

“With my roommate Elena Di Liddo, who had the same problems and missed the (2016) Games.

“Now we laugh about it: this is our destiny. But Tokyo will not escape us, sooner or later! We are calm.”

Instead she echoes the words of several athletes when she says the postponement presents an opportunity and offers 12 months to improve further.

“It has destabilised everyone: personally I think that one more year will help me grow and be better.”

Katie Ledecky (L) of the United States of America (USA) is being congratulated by second placed Simona Quadarella of Italy after winning in the women’s 800m Freestyle Final during the Swimming events at the Gwangju 2019 FINA World Championships, Gwangju, South Korea, 27 July 2019.

Katie Ledecky soaks in the result as Simona Quadarella congratulates the toughest opponent of them all in distance free – Photo Courtesy: Patrick B. Kraemer

The schedule in Tokyo means that the finals of the 200 and 1500 free take place in the same session which would mean Quadarella would be more rested than Ledecky should the American choose to compete over four lengths.

All things being equal, Quadarella’s team-mate Federica Pellegrini will also be in the hunt for a 200 medal, 17 years after first reaching an Olympic podium.

Of whether she would join Pellegrini on the 4×200, she said:

“I would also like to work for the 200 in a 4×200 key, but now nothing is known: 13 months are few and many at the same time.”

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